Whistleblowers are people who inform the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of possible violations of federal securities laws. Information from whistleblowers allows the SEC to “minimize harm to investors and preserve the integrity of the U.S. capital market and more swiftly hold accountable those responsible for unlawful conduct.”[1] Whistleblowers are vital to the SEC and may be eligible for financial rewards for their knowledge. Unfortunately, employers may retaliate against the whistleblower. There are laws in place to protect anyone who reports fraud to the SEC. If you believe you have valuable information to share with the SEC or believe you have faced retaliation from an employer, contact Counsel Hound for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation. Our lawyers will help and protect you through every step of the process.

How to Qualify

The SEC defines whistleblowers as people who voluntarily provide the SEC with original information about a possible violation of federal securities laws. The information can be for a violation that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur. To receive a financial award, the information must lead to a successful SEC action that results in a money order of sanctions exceeding $1 million. Congress has authorized the SEC to provide monetary awards to individuals who meet the SEC’s qualifications. Awards range between 10% and 30% of the money collected.[2]

Voluntarily: the information is provided before a government agency requests, inquiries, or demands the same subject matter from you or anyone representing you.

Original: the information is derived from facts known to you or by independent analysis not derived from publicly available sources or already known by the SEC.

Information the SEC is interested in

The SEC is interested in original and voluntary information from the following categories:

  • Insider trading
  • Abusive naked short selling
  • Bribery of foreign officials
  • Ponzi scheme, Pyramid scheme, or a High-Yield Investment Program
  • Theft or misappropriation of funds or securities
  • Initial Coin Offerings and Cryptocurrencies
  • Manipulation of a security’s price or volume
  • Fraudulent or unregistered securities offering
  • False or misleading statements about a company
  • Fraudulent conduct associated with municipal securities transactions
  • Other fraudulent securities conduct

Whistleblower Retaliation

An employer may engage in retaliation by firing or taking other adverse actions against an employee for engaging in a protected activity such as SEC whistleblowing.[3]

Adverse actions may not be easy to spot. Examples of adverse actions that may qualify as retaliation include but are not limited to:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Constructive discharge
  • Demoting
  • Denying promotion
  • Reducing pay or hours
  • Denying benefits
  • Intimidation or harassment
  • Isolating, ostracizing, mocking

Compensation

Whistleblower retaliation can leave you with emotional and financial hardships. Our Counsel Hound lawyers will work to maximize your settlement or award. Types of compensation you may be eligible for through whistleblower protection laws include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • Previously lost wages and front pay for future lost wages
  • Attorney fees and litigation costs
  • Punitive damages.

Non-Economic Damages:

Some damages cannot be proved with lost wages, property damages, etc. You and your loved ones may face emotional distress as a result of the retaliation. Our lawyers will work to include all available compensation in your case.